Owl problem

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GFB
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

Owl problem

Postby GFB » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:47 am

Late Summer while mowing the lawn I spotted an OWL feather around 20 or 30 foot from my Martin houses and some long narrow black feathers scattered, not next to the martin houses but next to my house under some large pine trees a couple hundred feet from the bird houses. I believe it happened later in the season when the hatchlings were older and do to the number of birds I think during the night they attracted owls. My question is has anyone ever tried a wireless driveway alarm system? I see them advertised for around $15 and it says it detects a car or person that walks in front of a infrared sensor then it sends a signal to a indoor receiver that can be as far as 400 feet away that chimes. I have a third poll that is the same height as the houses and around 20 feet from my houses that I was going to use for another set of gourdes this year. But now I'm thinking to put a winch on it and use it for a feeder platform and also mount this driveway sensor on it. Has anyone tried this and do you think it would work? I do have owl guards on the T14's but nothing on the gourdes.

C.C.Martins
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 12 natural gourds, one modified house. 18 cavities in total.
PMCA member

Re: Owl problem

Postby C.C.Martins » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:10 pm

I dont know of any LLs who installed them, guess a system like that would have to be fairly sensitive to pick up an owl in flight if thats the plan.
My suggestion would be to install the martin gourds with owl protection first, second layer of defense may be electronic. Sorry to hear about the loss, doesnt sound like heavy predation but no way to tell off season.
Tom

2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.
2019-17 pair. 81 fledged.
Offering: 12 natural gourds, w/crescents and WDC openings. 6 modified compartment house, crescents with tunnels.

Bird Brain
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX

Re: Owl problem

Postby Bird Brain » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:34 pm

Scattered feathers on the ground is a screech owl attack. Screech owl likes to attack birds that are busy grazing on the ground, usually at dawn. Early bird gets the screech owl. The bird never knows what hit em. Probably wasn't a martin if it was grazing on the ground and attacked by screech owl. Screech owls don't prey on martins successfully very often since martin feed on the wing. If the martin was on the ground searching for nest building materials, that would be the only time it could become victim of screech owl. Coopers hawk also attacks birds on the ground but you said it was an owl feather. I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Every time I kill a house sparrow, I make the world a better place.

GFB
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

Re: Owl problem

Postby GFB » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:25 am

OK, Thanks for the information. Now that I'm retired I'll be able to monitor my colony more closely. If it happens again this year I'll post a picture of the feathers, maybe someone could tell me what bird they belong to.

C.C.Martins
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 12 natural gourds, one modified house. 18 cavities in total.
PMCA member

Re: Owl problem

Postby C.C.Martins » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:30 am

I too think that if you havent noticed a loss of birds in the season your predation is probably minimal, however an owl attack is of concern, enough for you to want to put up an electronic system. My suggestion stands, what have you got to lose by putting up guards on the gourds. Owls are a top predator, you noticed the remains, simple fix to protect the birds. Owls are successful, why not make it harder on it.
Tom
Tom

2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.
2019-17 pair. 81 fledged.
Offering: 12 natural gourds, w/crescents and WDC openings. 6 modified compartment house, crescents with tunnels.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2635
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: Owl problem

Postby flyin-lowe » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:34 pm

I assume the driveway type sensors basically work like a garage door sensor and there is only a straight line, similar to a laser been that has to be broken to trip the alarm. I can see anyway you could set it to ensure that an approaching owl would trip it.
2019- Currently 31 complete nests (27 with eggs or babies) 94 babies hatched and 19 eggs still to hatch) 6-22-19
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.

GFB
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

Re: Owl problem

Postby GFB » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:06 pm

It's a little different than the garage door sensor that has a signal between two sensors that has to be broken. The driveway sensor only has one module that reflects The signal back but but you could be correct that the owl might have to be straight in front of it. I was thinking that I could aim it above the roof of the house but I just don't know what owls do when they attack. I think it's a great horned owl because all summer I could hear the hoot that it made and I looked up the hoots that different owls make on youtube.

GFB
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

Re: Owl problem

Postby GFB » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:16 pm

One other thing I forgot to mention is the gourdes are troyer horizontals with tunnels and SREH's. If the martins would stay in the houses or gourdes they would be safe but I heard that the GHO beats its wings on the sides and flushes the martins out.

C.C.Martins
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 12 natural gourds, one modified house. 18 cavities in total.
PMCA member

Re: Owl problem

Postby C.C.Martins » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:40 pm

If its a GHO you'll probably pick it up. all that commotion won't go unnoticed...I take it that once the sensor sounds you'll hustle out? Im with you, wish they would stay inside.
Tom

2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.
2019-17 pair. 81 fledged.
Offering: 12 natural gourds, w/crescents and WDC openings. 6 modified compartment house, crescents with tunnels.


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